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Search still on for $150K in jewelry

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 12, 2014 at 3:12 PM


Sandusky police raided a Trumbull County home late last week, searching for the spoils of the west-end heist that left a 77-year-old Pinewood Drive woman severely shaken and out $150,000 worth of jewelry.

Investigators did not find what they were searching for, however.

Cousins Mohammad Hamad, 26, and Yousif Hamad, 25, were both charged with complicity to robbery, aggravated burglary, kidnapping and theft for the May 14 incident.

Police said the Hamads and one other unidentified accomplice orchestrated the theft. They believe Yousif helped storm the woman's garage, rob her of her jewelry, then bind her limbs. Mohammad — the son of a local businessman who crafted the woman's custom jewelry — allegedly drove the getaway car.

The pair then fled to a naval base in Virginia Beach, where Mohammad was arrested a few days later. Yousif was arrested in late June, upon his return to his hometown, Warren, Ohio.

According to a search warrant Sandusky police Detective Gary Wichman filed in the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, officers received credible information that Yousif tried to stash some valuables in his grandmother's Warren-area home.

Detectives learned that Yousif, while in the Erie County jail, directed his sister to move a duffel bag from one room of the home to the basement's crawlspace, Wichman said.

A criminal informant previously told officials Yousif had been dropped off near his grandmother's home the same day he was arrested in June, toting two loaded, semi-automatic handguns, the warrant stated. 

Yousif also allegedly spoke of a hidden stash of jewels and cash.

Armed with that knowledge, Sandusky police enlisted the help of Howland Township police and searched the home in question on Thursday, Wichman said.

Police did not uncover any guns, missing jewelry, jewels or cash during their search.

They did find that a safe door had been tucked in the crawlspace — a door that had been torn off  Yousif's grandmother's safe, which is located upstairs in the home, Wichman said.

The grandmother was out of the house for several months, according to a related police report, and it appears Yousif or other relatives are suspected of entering the home without permission and living there.

According to the Howland Township report, $22,000 and various jewels had been robbed from the safe.

Both Yousif and Hamad are still being held in the Erie County jail on $240,000 bond apiece.

For more details, check out Youngstown station WKBN's coverage.

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